Loving God. Loving People. Making Disciples.
 
Charlotte New Hope Church
436 W. Harris St., Charlotte, MI

 517-543-8603 | Facebook | YouTube charlottenhcc@att.net

Breaking The Gates So You Can Proceed And Succeed

By Pastor Randy Royston

Break free from anything and everything that is holding you back from living out God's plan and purpose for your life!
 

Gleaning from over forty years of ministry experience you will discover insights and answers that will help to proceed and succeed so you can have a fulfilling life. Getting right to the heart of how to break the power of the enemy over the life of a believer. Actual experiences and powerful prayers are shared that have healed the broken hearted and set the captives free.

Contact New Hope Church for information on obtaining a copy of this book. 


 

Reviews
by Maggie Hoggard, Fruit of Agape Community Transformations.

In "Breaking the Gates: So You Can Succeed and Proceed," senior pastor, life coach, and author Randy L. Royston uses the metaphor of gates to provide some practical strategies for living intentionally and successfully according to biblical teachings. This plan for discipleship in Christ explores the literal and figurative functions of gates as they are portrayed throughout Scripture. Each chapter relates to practices that lead to or impede mindful Christian living.  Rev. Royston notes that followers of Christ encounter many gates in different areas of life, and guidance from the Holy Spirit will help discern which should be entered, as well as those that should be avoided. He describes areas where repentance (turning away from sin) is necessary, but also includes gates that can guide Christians to flourish in their walk with Jesus.

From a biblical worldview, Rev. Royston’s description of the three types of gates in the Bible connect some complex theological elements with practical ways to exercise Christian thought, faith, action, and control.  The first type of gate, “a place to meet,” refers to “a point of reference, a place where position or authority can be established.”  This signifies that Christians must discern whether what they meet has been “established by God for your benefit,” so they can remain under His protection, or by another authority that will lead them to harmful outcomes.  The second type of gate is “a place of control,” and Rev. Royston stressed that Christians need to take steps so that “the enemy is no longer in possession or in control of any gate.”  The final type of gate in Scripture is “a place where legal agreements are made.” These represent “gates...that need to be revisited and reinforced” because they represent areas of life where “there have been legal, binding transactions made between you and God.”
 
While Rev. Royston’s explanation of gates would be useful as a foundation for effective decision making, applying his approach requires a strong commitment to making choices based on biblical knowledge, prayer and reflection, and growth of character.  As well, his approach to intentional living and life planning will be more understandable for Christians who have a firm grasp of spiritual warfare along with their willingness to obey God.  Resources for Christian life planning, the support of a minister and faith community, and perhaps the guidance of a life coach would strengthen followers of Christ as they consider gates on their journey.  This book has value as a practical guide for new Christians, but it can also lead maturing Christians to a deeper application of faith in their lives.  Rev. Royston includes narrative examples, biblical passages, action steps, and model prayers throughout this highly readable text.

printed with permission
 

Broken Hope Restored

By Pastor Randy Royston

Nobody aspires to become a murderer, an addict or a victim of abuse. We don’t expect our marriages to end. We don’t imagine our children will die. But these things happen. Every day. To people all around us.
 

Broken hopes, dreams and promises can be devastating. The stories in this book offer remarkable accounts of real people right here in Charlotte, Michigan, who experienced heartache, pain and loss – and then overcame setbacks and hardships to live with real meaning, purpose and joy.

Learn from these amazing people the secrets that brought about their breakthroughs. Learn how they rediscovered hope and transformed their lives. Be inspired that you, too, can find HOPE for tomorrow!


This book is a compilation of authentic life stories. The facts are true, and the events are real. The storytellers have dealt with crisis, tragedy, abuse and neglect and have shared their most private moments, mess-ups and hang-ups in order for others to learn and grow from them. In order to protect the identities of those involved in their pasts, the names and details of some storytellers have been withheld or changed.
 

Contact New Hope Church for information on obtaining a copy of this book.

 

Pastor's Pen
by Pastor Randy Royston
What Side of History Will You Be On?

September 13, 2022

There are only a few opportunities when an individual can be involved in a historical moment that can impact thousands of others. One of those moments is coming up on November 8th. On that day every voter has the opportunity to vote on a proposal that will literally impact the lives of untold thousands in the years to come. Voters will have a choice to make that is literally a life and death decision.

This choice I am talking about is in regard to Proposal 3 Reproductive Freedom For All. The state of Michigan has always been a pro-life state. In 1846 Michigan became the first state and the first government in the English-speaking world to outlaw the death penalty. Abortion was also made illegal except to save the life of the mother. This pro-life law was again strengthened in 1931 to not allow abortions except to preserve the life of the mother. On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court overruled every state law and made abortion available for any reason, for all nine months of pregnancy. In May of 1973 the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that abortions were still illegal in Michigan; however, because of the passage of the Roe vs Wade decision the state law could not be enforced.


The United States Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 repealed Roe vs Wade and every state now has the authority to determine which side of history they want to be on. A yes vote on Proposal 3, would for the first time in Michigan history, change our state constitution and allow the death penalty for unborn children to become the law of the land. No restrictions on why or when an abortion could be performed. Partial birth abortions could be done right up to the moment of birth. No required parental consent for minors. A doctor is not required to be present when an abortion is done. Tax payers will be mandated to pay for abortions.


A No vote of Proposal 3 would keep Michigan a state that values every human life, from the innocent baby in the womb to even the worst criminal in our prison system. From 1846, 1931, 1973 Michigan’s Constitution has always protected all human life. A No vote on Proposal 3 would keep Michigan from becoming the most proabortion state in the nation. Proposal 3 goes too far too fast.

 
Moses said this to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19 - “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”   Which side of history will you be on?

 


Should my church be encouraging people to vote NO on Proposal 3?

Churches can lawfully speak for or against proposals. Proposal 3 calls for a constitutional amendment which would remove all health and safety regulations for abortion clinics, repeal the law that says only doctors can perform abortions, repeal parental consent for abortions, and make it possible for children to begin gender reassignment treatments without their parents knowing about it. This Proposal would require taxpayer funding for abortions. VOTE NO PROPOSAL 3. TOO EXTREME, TOO CONFUSING.

Do you think that this covid vaccine or a similar vaccine could be the mark of the beast?

The mark of the beast is mentioned in Revelation 13:16-18. It will be a mark that will be required in order to buy or sell anything.  Several states and some countries are beginning to require proof of the vaccine to enter different business places or to return to work. Our government just tried to have a vaccine mandate implemented for all business places that employ 100 or more people. The Supreme Court struck it down. This vaccine is not the mark of the beast. It is a good practice run on how to mandate everyone to obey if they want to work or buy goods or services but it is not the mark of the beast. This mark will not be enforced until after the rapture of the church. Every believer will be taken to be with Christ and then this world will enter into the Great Tribulation. It is during this terrible time on earth that this mark of the beast will be enforced. Those who refuse to worship this beast will be killed. We are not there yet, but we are very close!

Why does the pastor have to preach at a funeral?  I thought it was supposed to be about the deceased.

When the family asks a Christian pastor to officiate at a funeral, it is expected that the pastor will “preach” or share the gospel. Often I have been asked to share a very clear and soul searching gospel message around the life story of the deceased. The reality of death and then of an everlasting life in either heaven or hell is a message that needs to be faced. When the deceased was a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ the funeral message is one of hope.  When the deceased lived a life apart from Christ the message may be more of a reminder that every person will one day give an account of the life they lived.  Each family can ask a pastor to share more or less of the gospel but a Christian pastor needs to be true to his calling.

If God is so loving, why would He send people to hell?

It was the love of God that caused Jesus to come and die on the cross to take the penalty and guilt of our sins upon Himself. It is because of sin that you are condemned already and headed to hell. God does not want you to die in your sins but has provided you with a Savior. The Bible says that “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” God is not sending people to hell, people are already headed there because of sin and unbelief. God’s love has provided a way of escape through believing and receiving Jesus Christ as Savior. Read John 3:16-19, John 3:36, John 14:6.


Will special need individuals go to heaven if they haven't accepted Christ?

Special need individuals, those with mental or intellectual disabilities often face life with a limited IQ that permanently places their development at a child’s level of understanding. Listen to the words of Jesus concerning children: Luke 18:16 “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of God.” Matthew 18:3 “Unless you are converted and become as little children you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mark 9:37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me.” Our Lord opens His heart to children and to those who are not mentally able to make a conscious decision concerning accepting Him as Savior. Most theologians agree that God’s grace is sufficient to cover those who are in this situation.

Do you really believe that God still does miracles today? 

Just three weeks ago we prayed for a young man who had overdosed and was declared brain dead on life support. We prayed for a miracle to happen. No brain activity on the scan that was done. The organ transplant team was on standby as the medical staff proceeded to remove all life support. The family was told that within minutes he would be gone. The man according to the doctor “miraculously recovered.” From no brain activity detected, to today he is walking, talking and feeding himself. Yes, I believe that God still does miracles today. 

What is Critical Race Theory and should it be taught to our children?

This topic has been around for awhile but it has gained momentum lately with this new "WOKE" movement. There are many different views on what Critical Race Theory (CRT) actually is but it seems to emphasize that everything needs to be viewed through the lens of race with the focal point being white versus people of color. Another major point seems to be that there is no such thing as objective truth, in other words what is true for you may not be true for me. CRT is not very compatible with Christian Biblical Teaching. The Bible, does not pit one color or tribe or nation against another but proclaims that all men are of one blood and there is really only one race, the human race. There is objective truth, truth that is true no matter if I want to believe or accept it or not. I do not believe that CRT should be taught to our children.

Does the statue of the beast in front of the United Nations in New York City represent the beast in the book of Daniel and end time events?

This statue was installed in December 2021 and is said to be “a guardian of international peace and safety.” The combination of the location, the image and the description has caught the attention of some Christians. The creators of this statue may or may not have known of the Biblical prophetic reference. What we do know is that we are living and seeing many end time prophecies being fulfilled or things happening that is preparing for end time events as told in the Bible. The “rapture” of those who have been born again is the next major event that could happen at any moment. Daniel 7; First Thessalonians 4; Revelation 13.

 

Six Reasons I Don't Need Church


 

~ MOST CHURCHES ARE FILLED WITH HYPOCRITES

~ MOST CHURCHES ONLY WANT YOUR MONEY

~ THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE THAT GO TO CHURCH THAT LIVE WORSE LIVES THAN I DO

~ MOST CHURCHES FEEL THEY ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT IS RIGHT

~ MOST CHURCHES SAY THEY CARE BUT THEY NEVER SHOW IT

~ THE CHURCH HAS NEVER DONE ANYTHING FOR ME



If you’re like most people I know, you probably agree with most of the reasons I gave for not needing church. In fact, you probably have a few more reasons that could be added.

 

For years every time someone approached me about going to church my response was basically the same. I would blast them with my six reasons and then this church person would leave me alone. I found out that most church people had no good reply to my reasons of why I did not need church.

 

There was this one church person named Michele. Let me tell you about her. I had known Michele for four years and during that time she had always been faithfully attending church every Sunday. From time to time she would ask me to come and visit her church or to come and attend some special event or meeting that her church was sponsoring. I usually responded by telling her that I was busy or that I had forgotten. But she just had to ask me one more time.

 

I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Michele wasn’t what I considered to be your usual church person. She was cheerful, outgoing and most everybody seemed to enjoy being with her. She just had to ask me one more time if I would like to visit her church.  I decided now was the time to blast her with my six reasons why I didn’t need church and then just like all the other church people she would leave me alone.

 

Much to my surprise, for everyone reason I gave her for not needing church, she agreed with me! As I went on down through my list, she was agreeing with me that each reason was a good reason for not needing church.  I began to feel a little guilty. Personally, I didn’t need church but I never tried to talk someone who was going to church into quitting.
 

I had given her the first five reasons already so I thought why not give her my last reason. The church has never done anything for me.  Again, Michele agreed with me. Then she simply asked, “What about Jesus?”

 

No one had ever said that before. They would talk about their church or about all the programs that they offered. “What about Jesus?” I asked.

 

Here is her reply. “Randy, every reason that you gave for not needing church is true. It is sad but often true. There are many people who attend church who act and talk one way on Sunday, but live quite differently the rest of the week.  It is also true that many churches seem to always be making appeals for money. This often happens because the majority of people do not obey God and support God’s work with their tithes.

 

“It is also true that there are some churches who feel that only they are right. While some people stress the differences, most churches agree on about 98% of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. The Christian church as a whole has agreed that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Most charitable endeavors that are currently being done today are done by the Christian church.

 

“I am sure it is also true that no local church has ever done anything for you. But I want you to know, Jesus has!

 

“You see the true Church, according to God’s Word, is not a building, and organization, or even a denomination. The true Church is made up of people who have admitted they have sinned and have asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior of their life. These people are not perfect and they still make mistakes.”

 

After this, all my reasons, my excuses were no longer that important. This time I wasn’t turning away from a church. I had just been introduced to Jesus.

Deep in my heart I knew only Jesus could fill that void in my life.

 

What about you? After you list all your reasons, then answer this, “What about Jesus?”

How to become a Christian...

All of us have made mistakes and done things that we wished we had never done. There is only one man, Jesus, who lived a perfect and sinless life. No matter what you have done, Jesus wants to make you a new person. All you have to do is ask Him. Here are a few simple steps that lead to forgiveness and a new life. Knowing your sins are forgiving is as simple as these steps:

 

Admit  that you have sinned. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Sin keeps us apart from God but He loves everyone and wants us all to become members of His family (John 3:16)"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. The Bible says that we all have sinned (Romans 3:23) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. The punishment for our sins is eternal separation from God and heaven (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

 

Believe that Jesus is God’s Son. You must believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died to offer you forgiveness (1Peter 2:24) "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed". He died on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8)."But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us".

 

Confess your sins. You must be truly sorry for your sins, turn from them, and ask Jesus to forgive you (Acts 3:19) "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord". (John 1:12)"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name".

 

Are you ready to take the next step?

Pray this Prayer
 

Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner and I ask You to forgive me. Forgive me and make me a new person. I believe You died on the Cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I invite You to come into my heart and into my life. By faith, I receive You as my Savior and I place my life in Your hands. Thank You that You died to give me the gift of eternal life. Thank You that according to Your Word You have come in and made me Your child. Jesus, help me to live the rest of my life to please You.   Amen.

 


I am excited that you have made a decision to get serious about God! You may have been a very religious person but you realized that you never really had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

Maybe you never knew much at all about church or religion, but you realized through the preaching of a message or the witness of another believer that you needed to find God's plan and purpose for your life.

 

You could have responded and visited this page because you are aware that you are living in a back-slidden condition. A person who is back-slidden is someone who once was wanting to follow the Lord, but for whatever reason has drifted away and is now more concerned with following their own desires than God's will.

 

Whatever the reason, if you are ready and wanting to start "Getting Serious About God", the steps below will help you take the steps that will prove you are "Getting Serious About God" Each step is important if you want your walk with God to be secure.
 

Step One - Starting New & Clean
 

If you're getting serious about having a relationship with God the first step is you need to deal with sin. Simply defined, sin is anything that is not pleasing to God. There are things that are always right and things that are always wrong.

 

The Bible talks about people who do what is right in their own eyes. When a person lives their life with no concern for God's plan and purpose for their life they will end up living a life that is filled with sin.

 

"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." - Isaiah 59:2

 

If you're ready to get serious with God then you need to find the answer to the same question asked by the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30-31, "what must I do to be saved?"

 

The answer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."

 

To be saved means that, you have by faith, believed in Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior.

 

To be saved is to admit that there is sin in your life and that Jesus Christ came to live and die on the cross to take the penalty for your sins.

 

This first step is very important because if you have not put your faith, your belief, and your trust in Jesus Christ you are not yet a sincere follower of God,

 

"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world." - 1 John 4:14

 

When you are getting serious about God you not only need to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, but you need to be willing to get clean and stay clean, as you follow God.

 

Jesus told a woman who was living in adultery to "Go and sin no more."

 

The Bible uses the word "repent". To repent means to be sorry for your sins and desire to turn away from them and not have them be a part of your life any longer. If you have not made that confession to the Lord, you need to do it right now. Here is a prayer for you to say to God:

 

"Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive me. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that he rose from the dead. I ask you Lord to come and live in me and to help me turn away from anything that is not pleasing to you. Amen."

 

If you are getting serious about God, you need to clean not only your heart, but you need to clean all the junk in your life.

 

Pour out the alcohol, flush the drugs, trash the pornography, and destroy all videos or music that would be offensive to Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what needs to be removed from your life so that you can start new and clean.

 

If you are not sure about keeping or doing something, ask if Jesus would come and watch, listen or do it with you. If not, then you shouldn't do it either.

Step Two - Tell Someone
 

When you are getting serious about God, it is very important that you let other people know about your decision. This helps you by verbally reinforcing your decision and it also fulfills part of God's plan for your life.

 

Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” - Mark 5:19

 

Jesus wants us to share the "good news" with everyone that will listen. You may not have all the answers to their questions, but you can share your experiences about what has happened in your life.

 

You will probably be very excited about what has happened. You may find that some will share in your excitement while others may show little or no interest at all. Don't argue with people. Let your testimony show God's love and pray before, and after, that God will touch their hearts.

 

Phone or visit a friend, or family member, and tell them about how you have asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life. Let them know that you want to start living your life according to God's plan and purpose.

 

Step Three - Establish a Quiet Time
 

Getting serious about God means that you are getting serious about your relationship with Him. Jesus used the term born again when referring to your new life in Christ. As a new born believer, you need to grow in this new life with Christ. The way to grow is to spend what I like to call, quite time with God and His Word.

 

God gave His Son, the Living Word, to save us; He gave us His Written Word, to guide us.

 

The Bible (also called God's Word) takes on new meaning and importance once you become a serious follower of God. As a believer, the Holy Spirit helps you understand and apply God's Word into your life.

 

"I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees." - Psalm 119:10-12 (NIV)

 

There are several different versions of the Bible that make it easy for you to read and understand. Originally the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek. The need came for people to have a translation in a language they could read. The King James Version (KJV) was translated about 400 years ago. Because it is written in the Old English, it can be difficult to understand. The New King James Version (NKJV) has been updated to our modern English and has been well accepted. The New International Version (NIV) is another common translation that is used in many churches to day. Unless noted, I will be using the New King James Version here.

 

I want to encourage you to try to daily spend some quiet time with God. Just as you need to eat each day to stay healthy, you need to eat daily from the Word of God to stay spiritual healthy.

 

"But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” - Luke 4:4

 

Here is a plan to get you started. Don't be overly concerned with the amount of time spent. When your starting something new, begin slowly and let your time develop naturally. As you establish this daily quiet time, the minutes will not be important. The time spent just being with God will become more and more precious.

 

FIFTEEN MINUTES (Or So) WITH GOD

 

Relax (1 minute): Be still and quite.

Take a few deep breaths and slow down.

 

Start With Prayer (1-5 minutes): Acknowledge your need to meet with Him. If there is something in your life that you know is not pleasing to Him, confess it and accept His forgiveness. Don't allow anything (sin) to hinder your time with God. Ask Him to speak to you through His Word and by His Spirit today.

 

Read God's Word (1-5 minutes): Read a verse or a few verses until God speaks to you through His Word. It is best to read certain portion of the Bible instead of just jumping all over. The Gospel of John is a good place to start, as well as Psalms and Proverbs. The goal is not how much you read each day, but what does God say to you as you're reading . When God speaks to you, stop reading and read it again.

 

Meditate (1-5 minutes): Think about what you just read. Think about it and let God show you what you need to know. You may not understand all that you read but you can still obey what you do understand.

 

Request (1-5 minutes): Ask God to help you apply what He has shown you. Bring any concern or need that you have to Him. Thank Him for loving and forgiving you. For teaching you what you need to know.

Step Four - Pray
 

The real definition of prayer is "talking with God".

 

Getting serious about God requires that you realize the importance and the blessings that come as you talk with God. You have asked Jesus to forgive you and to come into your heart. You have asked for understanding and power to live a life pleasing to Him. God's greatest desire is to have a relationship with you. getting serious about God requires that you and God talk with each other. Prayer is simply when you and God are talking with each other. Jesus lets us know that the way to talk with God is not with fancy words or religious speeches. He rebuked those who were doing that very thing. Jesus tells us in John 15:15 that we are His friends. You can talk to God like you would talk to your closest friend.

 

True prayer is communication, you talking to God as He listens and then God talking to you as you listen.

 

"Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice." -Psalm 55:17

 

This is telling us that we can pray at any time of the day.

 

God wants to hear from us and talk to us all the time.

 

Prayer is when we can pour out our hearts to God concerning our needs, our fears, our desires, or concerning the needs in the lives of others. Prayer is also when God can speak into our hearts and give us comfort, wisdom and understanding concerning all that is on our hearts and minds.

 

Prayer is not to be seen as our shopping list for God, of things we want changed or done. Prayer is talking with one that we love, that we trust, that we know "works all things for good".

Step Five - Find a Christian Church

 

If you are going to get serious about God you need to find a Bible-believing, Bible preaching church to become active in it. There are at least 58 times that the New Testament mentions the concept of "one another". This is talking about the need to be with other Christians in order to fulfill what God wants to do in your life and through His church. Phrases like serving, accepting, forgiving, greeting, honoring, teaching submitting, encouraging, and being devoted all talk about doing this to "one another".

 

The majority of the New Testament is written to local churches- the church at Ephesus, the church in Philippi, the churches of Galatia, the church at Corinth and so on. The true church of God is made up of born again believers who meet together as a local body or assembly or church.

 

When you find a local church you need to remember that the people who go there are not perfect. The church won't be perfect before you get there and it won't be perfect after you get there. What is important is that the people have a love for the Lord and for one another.

 

"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more a s you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Going to church is like making an investment. You can only pull something out if you have been willing to also put something in. You go to church to give praise and glory to the Lord in a corporate setting. You go to celebrate the blessings and presence of God. You go to encourage other believers as you display love and good works.

 

Going to church helps you to find God's plan and purpose for your life. You will be under the teaching and counsel of godly pastors and mature believers who can help you in your walk with the Lord.

 

Remember the Bible is the only authoritative Word of God. What I mean by that is, if a church claims they they have other books or further revelation, or teachings handed down but not found in the Bible, stay away from them. The true church looks to the Word of God, the Bible, as its source for finding God's plan and purpose.

Step Six - Be Baptized
 

Getting serious about God is when you're ready to do what He said to do. One of the last things that Jesus said, before He left this earth, had to do with obeying Him in being baptized.

 

"Go therefore make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matt. 28:19

 

There are some people who believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. According to the Bible faith is what is required for salvation with no mention of baptism in (John 3:16-18; 5:24; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-14)

 

The Bible talks about three different baptisms- baptism into the body of Christ, baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit.

 

Baptism into the body of Christ took place the moment you were born again. You became a member of the family of God.

 

Baptism in water is an outward way to show others that we have become a follower of Jesus Christ. This symbolic act of baptism refers to death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When you step down into the water it represents dying to your old life with all of its sin. Being immersed in the water refers to burial of the flesh. We are telling others that we no longer want to live according to the flesh, but we want to live our lives, following the Holy Spirit. Rising up out of the waters speaks about Christ rising from the dead with resurrection power and that we also are going to walk a new life with Christ.

 

"Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." - Romans 6:4

 

You may have been baptized as an infant or young child, or as a part of a religious ceremony. It is important to be baptized after you have understood and personally accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

 

Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a promise that God has given to every believer. Jesus told His followers that He was soon going to be leaving but that Father would send the Holy Spirit to be with us forever.

 

"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you." - John 14:26 (NIV)

 

Jesus not only said that the Holy Spirit would come but that those who believed Him should be filled, or baptized, with the Holy Spirit.

 

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 2:2-4 (NIV)

 

"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." - Acts 4:31

 

Jesus began His earthly ministry, after the Holy Spirit came upon Him. Jesus was lead and empowered by the Spirit to overcome the temptations of Satan. Jesus did the healings and miracles that He did being empowered by the Holy Spirit.

 

Each and every believer needs to have this same power, this same infilling of the Holy Spirit so that we might be equipped to follow Jesus and live a victorious life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift from God. You can't earn it, you just have to be willing to receive it.

 

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" - Luke 11:13

 

This baptism of the Holy Spirit is for you. Simply ask God to fill you with His Spirit and then by faith let the Holy Spirit fill you, empower you and enable you to be a positive witness for the Lord.

 

The followers of Jesus who waited for this promise:

 

"...were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." - Acts 2:4

 

This baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is a gift of Jesus to every believer who desires and accepts it.

Make fasting a “lifestyle!”

Fasting is not just for the beginning of the year. Commit to fasting, prayer and giving throughout the year and watch as God releases His hand of blessing over your entire year. Make fasting a regular part of your life and see how He supernaturally opens doors for you.
If you are beginning a private fast or fasting corporately as we do each year at Charlotte New Hope Community Church, I believe you will find these tips helpful.
How to Begin
 
Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.
 
Preparing Spiritually
Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
 
Deciding What to Fast
The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
 
Deciding How Long
You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow, maybe one meal or one day at a time.
 
What to Expect
When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.
 
How to End
Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually over a few days; eat small portions or snacks.
 
Types of Fasts
There are several types of fasting. The one you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.
 
  • Full Fast
Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
 
  • Daniel Fast
Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
 
  • 3-Day Fast
This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
 
  • Partial Fast
A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sunup to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting — a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
 
Christian’s Duty
The Bible says there are three duties of every Christian: Give, Pray and Fast. Biblical fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength—strength which you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in Heaven, says Matthew 6. When you give God your first through fasting, prayer and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year.
 
Why should I fast?
     ~  Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
     ~  Do you need a fresh touch of God in your life?
 
     ~  Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
     ~  Are you in need of a renewed infilling of the Holy Spirit?
     ~  Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
     ~  Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
     ~  Do you need to break away from bondages that have been holding you hostage?
     ~  Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation?
     ~  Do you desire to know God’s will for your life?

Target Your Prayers
Target your prayers during the fast. Three examples to focus on are leadership, transformation and burdens.
 
  • Leadership
The Bible instructs us to continually pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Believe for a spiritual awakening within the leadership of our churches, our state and our nation.  When we lift up our leaders, we can expect God’s peace in our lives and in our nation.
 
  • Transformed Lives
Ask the Holy Spirit to bring transformation to our bodies and our minds so our lives will show the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. The Holy Spirit brings new life, new hope and a transformation that comes only by an encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
  • Burdens Lifted
Another great promise, from the book of Isaiah, proclaims that the chosen fast will “undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free.”

Seek the Lord in prayer and let your decisions about your biblical fasting come from Him. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe that, as we pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our ENTIRE year!    

1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

ROMANS 12:1-2
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

MATTHEW 6:33
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

ISAIAH 58:6
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?”

21 Days of Scripture & Prayer
You will find two scriptures on each day to help direct your time of prayer. If needed, use one, both or select your own. Pray, meditate and listen to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to you. Record what He shows you each day.
 
DAY 1
I WILL BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, BUT IN PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING, I WILL PRESENT MY REQUEST. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. PHILIPPIANS 4:6
THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS ME INTO ALL TRUTH. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” JOHN 16:13

DAY 2
I WILL ASK IN JESUS’ NAME AND IN RECEIVING, MY JOY WILL BE MADE FULL. “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” JOHN 16:24
I AM LED BY THE SPIRIT. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” GALATIANS 5:18

DAY 3
I AM FULLY CONVINCED THAT GOD IS ABLE TO FULFILL HIS PROMISES.  “And being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” ROMANS 4:21
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MY COMFORTER AND HELPER. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I depart, I will send Him to you.” JOHN 16:7

DAY 4
I WILL ASK IN FAITH, WITHOUT DOUBTING. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” JAMES 1:6
MY BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19

DAY 5
I WILL DELIGHT MYSELF IN THE LORD, AND HE WILL GIVE ME THE DESIRES OF MY HEART. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” PSALMS 37:4
THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES ME POWER TO WITNESS. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” ACTS 1:8

DAY 6
I WILL WATCH AND PRAY, SO THAT I DO NOT ENTER INTO TEMPTATION. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” MATTHEW 26:41
I WILL WALK IN THE SPIRIT AND NOT FULFILL THE LUST OF THE FLESH. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” GALATIANS 5:16-17

DAY 7
IN ALL MY WAYS, I WILL ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE WILL DIRECT MY PATH. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” PROVERBS 3:6
THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERCEDES FOR ME ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” ROMANS 8:26-27

DAY 8
I WILL SEEK HIM AND FIND HIM WHEN I SEARCH FOR HIM WITH ALL MY HEART. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” JEREMIAH 29:13
JESUS CAN HEAL EVERY SICKNESS AND DISEASE. “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” MATTHEW 9:35

DAY 9
I HAVE HIDDEN GOD’S WORD IN MY HEART, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST HIM. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” PSALMS 119:11
GOD FORGIVES ALL MY INIQUITIES AND HEALS ALL MY DISEASES. “Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.” PSALMS 103:3  

DAY 10
HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL PASS AWAY, BUT HIS WORD STANDS FOREVER. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” MATTHEW 24:35
THE PRAYER OF FAITH WILL SAVE THE SICK, AND THE LORD WILL RAISE THEM UP. “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” JAMES 5:15

DAY 11
THE WORD IS LIVING AND ACTIVE. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” HEBREWS 4:12
HE LAID HIS HANDS ON EVERY ONE OF THEM AND HEALED THEM. “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.” LUKE 4:40

DAY 12
ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE FOR TEACHING, REPROOF, CORRECTION, AND INSTRUCTION.  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17
BY HIS STRIPES, WE ARE HEALED. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” ISAIAH 53:5

DAY 13
BY HIS WORDS, I CAN SEE WHERE I AM GOING. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” PSALMS 119:105
JESUS TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND BORE OUR SICKNESS. “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” MATTHEW 8:16-17

DAY 14
I LOVE JESUS. THEREFORE, I KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” JOHN 14:15
I WILL INVEST IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” MATTHEW 6:20-21

DAY 15
I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” PHILIPPIANS 4:13
MY FIRST FINANCIAL PRIORITY IS TO HONOR THE LORD. “Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase, So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” PROVERBS 3:9-10

DAY 16
THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND SALVATION; I WILL FEAR NO ONE. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” PSALMS 27:1
I WILL BE A TRUSTWORTHY AND HONEST STEWARD OF MY FINANCES. “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” LUKE 16:10-11

DAY 17
I HAVE AUTHORITY TO DEFEAT THE ENEMY AND NOTHING WILL HURT ME. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” LUKE 10:19
I WILL GIVE MONEY AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” LUKE 6:38

DAY 18
I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ROMANS 8:37
I WILL GIVE TEN PERCENT OF MY TOTAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME TO THE LOCAL CHURCH. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.” MALACHI 3:10

DAY 19
HE WHO IS IN ME IS GREATER THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD. “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 JOHN 4:4
GOD’S GENEROSITY WILL FLOW THROUGH ME. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 PETER 4:10

DAY 20
NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.” ISAIAH 54:17
I AM CALLED AND CHOSEN BY GOD. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” JOHN 15:16

DAY 21
THE LORD IS MY REFUGE AND STRENGTH, A VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.” PSALMS 46:1-3
I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21